We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Meh...”
Review of Scuba Coiba

Scuba Coiba
Book In Advance
More Info
US$160,00*
and up
Full-Day Diving for Beginners at Coiba National Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Diving tours to Coiba National Park and dive sites close to Santa Catalina, snorkeling tours and dive courses
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 8 June 2017 via mobile

Mixed feelings about this trip... The good: The locations (3 dives) were excellent, saw a bucket load of cool stuff including manta rays (June 2016) sharks and schools of fish... The equipment was good and well serviced. The Bad: The Dive Master was more concerned about finding stuff to see than our safety. My partner had issues equalising on the first dive and she had to surface and find the boat without help, which is plain dangerous. At times during the rest of the diving he was up to 20 metres ahead and sometimes out of sight, so of there had been a problem we would have had to fend for ourselves... We are Rescue Divers so not an issue for us, but Open Water Divers may have had trouble... On the whole we did not feel well taken care of on these dives.

Thank Tim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herbie S, General Manager at Scuba Coiba, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2017

Thank you very much for your review Tim. Thank you to recognize the excellent diving and well maintained equipment. I do not really understand the comments about the divmaster's role to be frank? We take certified divers and usually ask for some experience, as some sites can be challenging. We see the role of the dive master to "find stuff" and show it to the divers, not to play "nanny" - less so, if you are experienced Rescue Divers and know what to do, if you experience a minor problem, nothing "plain dangerous" having equalizing problems......

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (170)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

3 - 7 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2017 via mobile

Very safe to dive with Alberto and Julie who are flexible, easy-going and serious.
Alberto is an incredibly experienced rescue diver who developed his rescue abilities in troubled waters of Columbia during wartime.
We saw lots of White-tip sharks and so many other beautiful fish. We were taken to wonderful islands within the Coiba Natural park.
This was truly an unforgettable experience.

Thank AMBLEICH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2017

I have done 30+ dives in several countries and have never had such a terrible experience. The staff and owner are rude, condescending and incredibly unprofessional.

My husband and I signed up for a one day, two tank dive at Isla Coiba. We paid in advance and stopped by the dive shop the day before the dive to try on equipment. All good so far. We arrived the morning of the dive and there are two dive masters (1 female, 1 male). As I'm getting my gear together (ALL gear was rented from Scuba Coiba), the female dive master comes up to me and says, laughing, "You're going to be freezing in that wetsuit". I'm thinking, "Ok well then why are you renting gear to your customers that is in adequate for the dives"?? No matter, I didn't let it bother me and simply asked for a large shortie wetsuit that I could wear over the top - but that comment by the dive master left both me and my husband bewildered.
Second, the dive masters inform us that there are some people on the trip who are planning on doing a 3 tank dive, so (I quote) my husband and I are "going to have to wait on the beach of the island for an hour or two while the third dive, and surface stop, is completed". This to me was really irritating. I commented to the dive master that it would have been nice to know in advance that we were joining another group doing a 3 tank dive, so that we could plan for the longer day or reschedule the dive to another day with only 2 tank divers. The male dive master responded to me, "Most people are more than happy to wait around on the beach, so if you're going to complain, then DON'T GO". Well, after that response and treatment, who in their right mind would go on that trip?? My husband and I took them up on their offer, and said Ok we won't go then, and I would like a refund (since we prepaid). The divemaster said Ok, and my husband confirmed with him that we would be refunded. However, the owner emailed us later in the day with a rather rude email, no apologies whatsoever for his employees behavior, and informed us that we would not be receiving a refund. We had no choice but to contest the charge on our credit card and we took our money elsewhere, to another dive shop in Santa Catalina where we had an absolutely wonderful time and were treated with respect and the vibe was fun, not negative.
Overall the diving at Coiba is amazing and I would highly recommend it; however I would not recommend the services at Scuba Coiba.

2  Thank JMichelle2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2017

We took the 3-day trip to Coiba Island with 2 nights boarding and 3 dives per day and saw dolphins, tens of white-tipped reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, magnificent shoals of jack fish, lots of moray eels outside of their crevices ....... (can't name the rest, but there was a lot, lot more!). The nature was just magnificent and what made it more special was that there were so few divers - no more than 6 in our group, including our wonderful divemaster Elly. No other boats with divers to be seen! Under the water, there was life in every nook and cranny. Between dives we rested on lovely little uninhabited islands.

Elly had so many dive sites for us that we didn't visit any of the twice, and I'm sure she has many, many up her sleeve - if the current was too strong or the visibility too poor, no problem she just took us somewhere else.

The stay on Coiba Island was comfortable and the food great - cooked by none other that Herbie's wife.

All-in-all a magnificent, relaxing and peaceful diving experience, so much the better because this protected marine reserve can flourish in its diversity.

Thanks Herbie and the team at Scuba Coiba!

Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2017

SCUBA COIBA dive center is maybe not a shop which would attract you from the first look. But you will be very surprised when to get on to the trip with them.

Dive shop has a great location, it is the only one on the beach. As much it is great, it is also bad for the customers, as they all get caught on the was from the bus, from the closer places. But Scuba Coiba is here the longest time and offers interesting diving trips to different destinations.

Herbie, the owner of the place, is at Santa Cataline since 2003, I guess, so he knows the place from inside out. The diving trips are going to Scuba Coiba national park almost every day, but the shop offers also the local diving, cheaper option, and multiday Coiba trips. The instructors here are ready to explain you the best option, as sometimes the visibility is not good, there are currents, and diving is changing every day. Coiba is usually the long day option, and sometimes you can make the same dives closer, and the same interesting.

Diving at Coiba National Park is very challenging, specially the temperature, visibility and current wise. Very hard to pretend anything, as diving is changing every day, even at the same place and same time. The best option is always to ask the instructors, and let it all on them.

Scuba Coiba offers 2 or 3 tanks per day trip, which include equipment, dive guide, sneak or lunch, water and coffee.
But dont forget! It is Panama! So sometimes there is no water in the shop when you come back. Sometimes the schedule is a bit longer. And sometimes the nature makes your diving different than you would expect. But when it is nice, it is nice. You could see big stuff, now specially the pelagic animals - many rays, sometimes mobulas, mantas and different rays, sharks on every dive, same as many huge schools of fishes, which make this diving really special.
You can also hire the underwater photographer on place, professional with experience, who makes your day really unforgettable memory. Dont forget to bring your USB!

Volunteers here take care of the equipment, so all you have to do is to check your gear, and bring just basic things to the boat. The rest is done for you.
And dont forget again, it is Panama!

Thank KristinaEgypt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Scuba Coiba also viewed

Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province
Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province
 
Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province
Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province
 

Been to Scuba Coiba? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing